Rosewall / Laver

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by Wuornos, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    I have been looking back at past records and trying to educate myself further regarding the pre-open era including the professional 'professional Grand Slam tournaments'.

    I'm perhaps missing something here, and I know Laver did the Grand Slam twice, once as an amateur and once in the open era, but I just don't quite get why Laver is looked on as a god, when the results seem to show that Rosewall possibly had an even better case.

    I have to say I'm just awestruck by both of these players now, but just cannot reconcile the discrepency with how they are both now seen. It looks to me as a layman first examining these data that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era.

    Can someone tell me why the reputation of these two great players are now so markedly different?

    Also can anyone recommend a publication or website that might show the full draw and results for 'professional Grand Slam tournaments'.

    Many thanks

    Tim
     
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  2. Rhino

    Rhino Legend

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    i have a lot of respect for what you post, but is your conclusion "that both of them were head and shoulders above the greats of the open era" based on statistics or have watched a lot of footage too?
     
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  3. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Well, for one Laver won 2 calendar Grand Slams(one being in the Open Era against professionals)

    And Rosewall never won Wimbledon, generally regarded as the most important event, while Laver won 4.

    Those 2 things will always be much better known than Rosewall's achievements.

    Plus the head to head:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=167553


    If you are interested, here is some great, higher picture quality/sound footage than is usually available from this time period, you can see what a great talent Laver was(and look how ripped he was as well):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SptdffCeVmM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpdPX9avs1M
     
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  4. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    I agree with moose that Laver's 2 slams (particularly his open era one) and 4 wimbledons stand out . Those two slams seem god like. No one has matched that.

    Rosewall is downgraded because he unfortunately spent the peak of his career in his massive 12 year career as a pro. rosewall's 8 out 9 incredible french pro streak is much less well known. Overall Rosewall probably has more Grand slam equivalent wins (counting his pro major wins) than any other player. He probably just edges out Laver and gonzales. His longevity as a top player competeting well in major events is probably only matched by Tilden

    Laver also had a head to head advantage over Rosewall every year they played except 1963 (first year they met when Rosewall was no1) and 1976 (when Laver was semi-retired and no longer a serious player)

    I would regard Rosewall as the no1 player from 1960-3, but Laver's reign runs certainly from 1964-70 and in my opinion 1971 as well.

    jeffrey
     
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  5. llgc8080

    llgc8080 Rookie

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    Agree with you.
     
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  6. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Hi Tim,

    The book you're looking for is "History of professional tennis" by Joe McCauley.

    As you mention the "Pro Slam" tournaments, and as you mention you're a newcomer to the Pre-Open Era, be careful not to consider these 3 tournaments as always the best pro event every year (see threads like "4 greatest tournaments each year" etc.). I mention this just because it's a very common (and forgiveable) mistake...

    As for your question, the 1967 and 1969 seasons, as well as his many years ( even if they were not all dominant) as #1 are the only reasons why Laver can be considered better. Rosewall"s achievements are more impressive but they are also more dispersed over time. If you consider longevity as more significant, Rosewall is the obvious choice...

    Jonathan
     
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  7. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    Hi Rhino

    It's not based on anything scientific, other than looking back athe pro tournaments that were played and seeing how many Rosewall won.

    I really don't have the data to do anything else and while as a boy I saw them both play I was perhapsnot mature enough at that stage to fully understand what I was seeing.

    Regards

    Tim
     
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  8. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    Thanks Moose.

    The head to head was interesting as it gives the impression that there would have been an average of a 40 point elo Gap between them on average during their careers. Which isn't to shabby when compared with my peak Elo ratings of the open era which sees the difference as 60 points.

    I'll have a look at the links tomorrow when I have a bit more time.

    Much appreciated.

    Tim :)
     
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  9. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    Thanks Jeffery

    You're quite right in identifying Rosewall's French Pro streak, which was one of the chief factors in making me wonder why Laver is held in such high esteem compared with Rosewall.

    I certainly feel even if Rosewall must be considered weaker than Laver, as would now seem the case seeing the posts from others, he still doesn't seem to get the recognition he deserves from current fans.

    Take care

    Tim
     
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  10. Wuornos

    Wuornos Professional

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    Thanks Sgt John.

    That really has helped. Seeing these events described as the professional slam events certainly made me consider them the strongest and not being able to see a full draw for each one I was unable to judge. I'm sure this is a big factor of my error in this matter.

    Thanks for the note on the title of the book. I'll see if I can get a copy.


    To be honest I have never been a fan of longevity as a measure of a players quality but prefer to try to judge a peak standard of play. Admittedly this has to be maintained over a reasonable period to be considered significant but to judge a player over an excessive number of years always seems to me penalise some with shorter careers and reward those with longer. I already rate Laver as third best player of the open era using the ELO rating system and if he were penalised by rewarding excessive career length within the open era, I'm sure his place would be much lower. No for me the best indicator of a players ultimate worth will be his / her peak playing standard as defined by results adjusted for quality of opposition faced, or in other words, ELO.

    Thanks for the post.

    Take care

    Tim
     
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  11. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Tim,

    Having seen Rosewall play on the telly, I do have the greatest respect for him, but Moose got it right.

    Laver's win of two (three? incl. a 1967 "Pro Slam") Grand Slams and the fact that Muscles never won a Wimbledon title despite four times in the finals must put him slightly lower than Rocket.

    I think Rosewall's most cogent claim as great tennis player (and potential GOAT) is his sheer longevity: winning the AO in 1953 and 1972, and losing the Wimbledon final in 1974. Winning the FO in 1953 and 1968; winning the USO 14 years apart. Amazing! His career spans 21 years at years at the highest level possible.

    As I have said before, can we imagine Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2024? Can we imagine Nadal winning at Roland Garros in 2020?

    Not possible. There is no doubt, Ken IS one of the greats.

    Gene
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
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  12. Vector

    Vector Banned

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    Great posting
     
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  13. noeledmonds

    noeledmonds Professional

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    Laver is generally regarded as the greater player than Rosewall but not by all experts.

    The reason Laver is viewed as greater is that Laver had the head to head adavantage, Laver won over 180 tournaments (an all time record) and Laver won 2 calander grand slams (including an open-era one). The grand slams are what really make Laver stand out from all oposition. It is not just the grand slams but the years as a whole. In 1962 Laver won at least 22 tournaments (a pre open-era record) and in 1969 Laver won at least 18 events (an open-era record). Laver also won the largely overlooked pro slam in 1967. This involved winning the US Pro, French Pro, Wembley Pro and Wimbledon Pro. I believe no other player has won the US Pro, French Pro and Wembley Pro in the same year (the Wimbledon Pro was only played in 1967). This makes his Pro slam a very note worthy achivement and in fact undoubtably more difficult than his 1962 amateur slam.

    Rosewall never won Wimbledon, which was a tournmanent he could have won as an amateur or open-era proffesional. Rosewall was also never particularly dominant compared to Laver. Rosewall has a massive list of achivements but these were developed through his longetivity as he played over 20 years near the top of the game. I think that if you had good pre-open era ELO data for Rosewall then his score would not be as high as many of the other greats as his achivements are spread out over a long time period.

    Having said this there are informed induviduals who consider Rosewall to be greater than Laver and some even consider him the greatest of them all. Rosewall has won more majors (grand slam events and pro events pre-1969) than any other player in history with 23 in total (Laver had 19). Rosewall also holds an exceptionally large number of "oldest to win" achivements. Rosewall is in my opnion not as great as Laver but still underated as a player. Many statistical analyses I have seen put Rosewall in the top 3 all time, generally alongside Laver and Gonzales.
     
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  14. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Agreed, Rosewall is often a bit underrated, often seen as a sort of Raymond Poulidor in cycling, who was overshadowed by Anquetil and Merckx. In his amateur career, Hoad was the more flamboyant player, stealing the limelight. In the early pros, Gonzales was the more popular, and later on Laver the more spectacular. Nevertheless Kenny had always the last laugh, outlasting all his peers. He never got to Nr.1 as amateur, losing crucial Wimbledon matches vs. Drobny, Nielsen (twice) and Hoad. He was angry about his loss to Drobny, blaming Hopman for giving him false tactical plans.His real Nr.1 pro status in 1961-63 looks a bit like an interim (in reality it wasn't so), after the demission of Gonzales and the arrival of Laver. He had surpassed Gonzales by 1960, but nobody took really care. In his best year 1963, he beat Laver clearly for ca. half a year and won all 3 pro majors. His longevity is only matched by Tilden (and an old English guy around 1910, whose name i forgot at the moment), but Kenny was in the world class as early as a 18 year old junior, while Tilden got to the top as a 27 year old veteran. Both stayed in the top well into their forties. Kenny hadn't the most powerful of serves, and he could be really overpowered by hard hitting returners like Hoad, Laver (who at his best, imposed his topspin backhand even on Kenny's sclice backhand) and Connors, who buried the 40 year old veteran at Wim and Forest Hills in 1974.
     
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  15. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    Why is this important? Considering the context of his era and all. I just don't understand why this gets brought up so much... and by some good posters.
     
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  16. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    It was important, going by his own books. In his book with Peter Rowley there are great parts dedicated to his Wimbledon defeats. Especially his first final loss to Drobny in 1954 hurt him. He blamed Hopman, to have given him wrong advice, to stay back and wait. When he woke up in the third, it was too late, and he couldn't turn the match around. When he lost to Newcombe in 1970, everybody wanted him to win, and they booed Newcombe. The Wimbledon club accepted him as fellow member, although he never won the thing. Old friend Charlton Heston, who died yesterday, also became a member of the club after a long wait.
     
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  17. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Heston was a member of the Wimbledon Club? Why he was nothing but a born-again, gun-slinging, bad actor. Sad day for Wimbledon.

    When did he make the AELTA finals?
     
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  18. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Heston was a friend of Laver and Rosewall since the 60s. Himself a big tennis fan and a quite good player, he did some promotional work for the early pro tour, including the WCT. He had a strong bound to the All England Club and did some commentating. He also wrote some columns for Tennis Mag and World Tennis. On the advice of some pro champions, he was introduced into the Club. That was way before his activity for the weapon industry.
     
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  19. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, now that you mention it I used to see him in some crowd/audience shots occasionally. Looked like a loyal tennis fan, like Alan King.

    Back before he went off the deep end and became infamous. (Sorry, my politics are showing.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
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  20. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I understand this, but to the intelligent tennis fan the Wimbledon losses shouldn't matter because we know full well that the reason Rosewall doesn't have any is because he didn't participate at the all-England club in his prime years.

    So maybe... we can stop bringing this up? Maybe? Would only make sense?
     
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  21. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I would say the point of Rosewall's losses at Wimby is a bit of a two-edged sword: he was good enough to get to the finals four times over a twenty year period (quite a feat), but not quite good enough to win (as did Laver).

    Was he completely beyond his prime in the open era? Ken was still good enough to win at Roland Garros in '68, the USO in 1970, and the AO in '71 and '72--but not Wimby in '70 or '74. Obviously he had a very long "prime"--perhaps the longest OAT. I nominate Ken for GPOAT.

    How would we regard Muscles if he had not made any Wimby finals?
    Even lower.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2008
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  22. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    The fact that Ken managed to win three of the four majors in the Open Era should be a positive, not a negative.
     
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  23. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Hi Tim,

    I am not such a fan of longevity either, but I think that the deeper you will dig in tennis history, the more you will realize that, due to (sadly) the lack of complete data, it is really hard to judge peak performance. In my humble opinion, complete historical ratings (that is: 1877-2007) can only be based on very general parameters, such as number of 'Majors' won or number of Years at #1, #2, etc. This is far from ideal or statistically satisfying but it is the best we can do with the very partial data we got for the (Amateur) pre-Open era. Of course, the ELO ratings and similar approaches can work as far as we can use reasonably complete data.

    Jonathan

     
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  24. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    1. Simply because most people are happier being told what to think than actually doing the reading to come up with their own conclusion. They also find it easier to grasp a simple concept such as the player with the most majors = the better player.

    2. Laver scored his Grand Slam in 1970 at the time when tennis was just getting ready to explode. When that happened it (the Grand Slam) was available as an immediate memory whereas Rosewall's achievements (the majority) came prior to that.

    3. Open tennis, when it began, did it's best to act as though the 'professional years' never happened. How can people consider Rosewall's achievements as a pro if they have no idea what he did or how impressive it was.

    4. American tennis publications and pundits dominate the market and they are, like all American publications (up to the 1990's) and pundits, incredibly unreliable.
     
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  25. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    Emerson vs. Laver

    These two players dominated the game between 1960 and 1969 with Emerson winning 12 Slams and Laver 11. There were 40 Slams during the decade and between them they won more than half.
    Here is their head-to-head and Laver was in front 43-18. Between 1963 and 1967 the two did not play against each other but they met at least 61 times between 1958 and 1975.

    1958 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS QF LAVER 63 61 86
    1959 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS SF EMERSON 79 64 86 1012 63
    1959 NSW CHAMPS SF EMERSON 60 36 36 64 63
    1960 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS SF LAVER 46 61 97 36 75
    1960 WIMBLEDON QF LAVER 64 57 64 64
    1960 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS SF EMERSON 61 26 62 79 63
    1961 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS F EMERSON 16 63 75 64
    1961 NZ CHAMPS F LAVER 46 63 62 36 75
    1961 Mexico City MEX F EMERSON 46 64 64 62
    1961 Kingston JAM F LAVER 46 64 63
    1961 BARRANQUILLA SF LAVER 63 62 64
    1961 Houston TX F LAVER 75 75 16 63
    1961 BRITISH HC F EMERSON 86 64 60
    1961 Kitzbuhel AUT F EMERSON 63 63 36 06 62
    1961 US CHAMPS F EMERSON 75 63 62
    1961 QUEENSLAND HC F LAVER 75 63
    1961 QUEENSLAND CHAMPS F LAVER 46 46 60 86 63
    1961 VICTORIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 46 86 97 63
    1961 NSW CHAMPS F LAVER 86 63 36 46 64
    1962 AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 86 06 64 64
    1962 Montego Bay JAM F EMERSON 86 75 46 36 62
    1962 Caracas VEN F LAVER 97 62 60
    1962 San Juan PR F EMERSON 75 75
    1962 St Petersburg FL F EMERSON 61 64 61
    1962 Houston TX F LAVER 61 75 75
    1962 ITALIAN CHAMPS F LAVER 62 16 36 63 61
    1962 FRENCH CHAMPIONSHIPS F LAVER 36 26 63 97 62
    1962 QUEENS F LAVER 64 75
    1962 US CHAMPS F LAVER 62 64 57 64
    1962 PACIFIC SW F EMERSON 1614 63
    1968 HOLLYWOOD PRO SF EMERSON 64 61
    1968 MADISON SQR GARDENS CHAMPS SF LAVER 62 62
    1968 LOS ANGELES SF LAVER 75 62
    1968 PARIS PRO NTL 1R LAVER unconfirmed
    1968 MIDLAND PRO SF EMERSON 64 64
    1968 SAO PAULO RR RR LAVER 61 108
    1968 LA PAZ RR RR LAVER 64 62
    1968 LIMA RR RR EMERSON 86 64
    1968 Buenos Aires ARG F EMERSON 97 64 64
    1968 WEMBLEY PRO 1R EMERSON 63 97
    1969 AUSTRALIAN OPEN 3R LAVER 62 64 36 97
    1969 MIAMI QF LAVER 57 63 64
    1969 TOKYO RR EMERSON 64 65
    1969 New York NY F LAVER 62 46 61
    1969 US OPEN QF LAVER 46 86 1311 64
    1970 PHILADELPHIA 3R LAVER 46 63 64
    1970 LAS VEGAS SF LAVER 63 36 62 36 63
    1970 ST LOUIS SF LAVER 46 75 63
    1970 BRETTON WOODS F LAVER 63 63
    1970 Fort Worth TX F LAVER 63 75
    1970 Vancouver CDA F LAVER 62 61 62
    1971 MIAMI SF LAVER 26 63 75
    1971 QUEBEC QF LAVER 36 76 76
    1971 FORT WORTH SF LAVER 61 64
    1971 SAN FRANSISCO 3R LAVER 67 64 60
    1973 Miami FL WCT QF LAVER 64 36 62
    1973 Richmond VA WCT F LAVER 64 63
    1973 Toronto CDA WCT F LAVER 63 64
    1973 Brussels WCT SF LAVER 46 64 61
    1973 WCT FINALS DALLAS 1R LAVER 64 62 61
    1975 SAO PAULO 2R LAVER 63 62
     
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  26. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Great list Andrew Tas.It is correspondent for most parts with the informations, i have from the books of Sutter and Betty Laver. At the moment i can only add a couple of matches, they played in 1971 für the rich Champions Classic. i think it were two, won by Laver.
    Philadelphia 17 th Jan 1971: Laver 6-2,6-3,7-5,
    New Haven, (around 20 th) Feb 1971: Laver 6-3,5-7,6-3,3-6,6-3.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
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  27. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    There's a lot of hostility toward the media on this forum--not that I think it's wholly unwarranted, just a tad extreme. My own experience is that writings on tennis used to be quite a bit better than they are now, as there was simply more interest in the sport, and the journalists were more knowledgeable. (It's shocking how many glaring factual errors you find in some huge, mainstream publications when it comes to tennis these days!) Re: Rosewall/Laver coverage, I don't think the story is markedly different if you look at, say, the British press rather than the American. Even the Australian books and articles that I have tend to play into the "consensus" view, fair or unfair. (The French very much liked Rosewall, however, since they saw him as a sort of reincarnation of Lacoste/Cochet.) I think your third reason is what really hits the nail on the head: there simply was not much interest in the professional game until quite recently. Everyone knew that the pros were at a higher level than the amateurs, both in ability and in tactics, but nobody really saw the pros play what they would have regarded as "meaningful" matches... and the sporting world has traditionally cared a lot more about these big moments than about more obscure records or statistics. That only explains how writers felt in prior generations. I think today there has been a clear resurgence of interest in the "lost" years of tennis, and Rosewall's stock has risen tremendously, especially among the more serious fans, and this is good, a necessary correction. I agree with you now, for example, that Rosewall is definitely among the top 5-6 players who ever lived.
     
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  28. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    laver vs emerson

    love this list. I have two extra results

    Laver beat Emerson 9-7,2-6,6-3 sf caracas 1961
    Laver also beat emerson aug 11 1970 at madison Square Garden in what was possibly a one night stand or a quick NTL event between the US pro and Candian open

    As urban commented there are two extra wins for Laver in the tennis Champions classic in 1971.

    I 'm very interested in the Bretton woods match of 1970. I've never heard of this event. was it a 4 man event, a one night stand or a fully fledged tournament. I thought Bretton woods only started as a tournament in 1972


    Laver did definitely beat emo in the ntl french indoors 1968 1st round (result reported in the london times)

    jeffrey
     
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  29. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I'm happy to drop it (I do really admire Rosewall: that 1972 WCT final over Laver was an amazing match). But the main reason it is mentioned is to justify Laver's slight superiority. (With which I agree.) But it's also "the one that got away."

    Simply put, Laver did something Rosewall did not and could not--despite Rosewall's coming extremely close four times. And (see other thread), Wimbledon is even today regarded as the "greatest Slam tournament."
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
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  30. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Small correction: Laver's second Grand Slam was in 1969.
     
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  31. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Another reason might be that Rosewall was more of a finesse player, and Laver a bit of a power player (with a great all-court game).

    Today's tennis is more of a power game, so maybe people more highly regard a player who fits their pre-conceptions about "real tennis."
     
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  32. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    You are right--but this is far from a recent phenomenon! Despite Rosewall's tremendous stylistic merits and his much greater long-term success, he very often fell under Hoad's shadow even among then-contemporary observers. Read Gordon Forbes's drooling description of Hoad's power game in A Handful of Summers, and you'll see what I mean. At least since Tilden (and perhaps McLoughlin), people have fawned over the power game at the expense of "finesse" players. The styles of Lacoste, Cochet, and Rosewall, among others, always appealed more to connoisseurs than to the public at large.
     
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  33. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    I knew about the Champions classic matches in 1971 but forgot to put them in. I first found reference to the Bretton Woods tournament in the New York Times. I dont know what kind of tournament it was but I think that it was either a day or two day tournament. Here is the first part of the article on the web:

    Laver Takes $1500 Final, Beating Emerson, 6-3, 6-3
    Aug 13, 1970 Page 57, 102 words
    BRETTON WOODS, N. H:, Aug. 12 (AP)-Rod Laver took top prize of $1500 in the Mount Washington Invitation Tennis Tournament today by beating Roy Emerson, 6-3, 6-3 before a crowd or 2000

    What was the score of the match between Laver and Emerson played on aug 11 1970 at madison Square Garden??. Could this be the Bretton Woods match?? Also what was the 1968 Paris Pro score??
     
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  34. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    I think the Bretton Woods event in 1970 was a four man affair. They had contracted Laver to promote this new tennis resort in the middle of (literally) the woods. Since 1972 or 1973 a regular event (on clay) was started there. I think Amritaj won the first, Laver in 1974 over Solomon (when he played very little in the summer) and Connors in 1975, when beating Laver and Rosewall. In 2005 or 2006 a book was published about the emergence of the tournament, which was exemplary for the tennis boom of that time. It was written by the entrepeneur, but at the moment i don't have the name. It was announced on Tennis Week.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
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  35. Rosebud

    Rosebud New User

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    Jim Westhall. The book is called 'Nonsense at the Net'. This webpage http://www.nonsenseatthenet.com/ has a retrospective by Bob Sullivan, with a nice description of the atmosphere of the early years. Also: click on the tournament-logos on the left for a '73 aerial view of the court.
     
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  36. urban

    urban Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Rosebud. Real nice webside with good articles on the evolvement of the Volvo event. The tennis boom had hit the woods.
     
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  37. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    bretton woods match

    andrew,

    you are right. there was no MSG match. It took place at Bretton woods.


    Laver bt stolle in the sf 6-8,6-3,6-3
    Emerson bt Rosewall in the sf 3-6,6-2,7-5

    Therefore I assume it was a 4 man event.



    jeffrey
     
    #37
  38. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I always liked Fred Stolle. He really knew his tennis, and certainly seemed like a very decent chap.

    I bet he was a fun guy to have a pint with.
     
    #38
  39. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I haven't read Forbes, but I have heard over the years heard a lot of fawning about Hoad's power game. (Older guys would say in hushed tones: "Ahh, you wouldn't believe Hoad." . . . whatever that means?)

    I saw something recently suggesting that for a couple of years (before he went downhill due to injury and bad conditioning) Hoad was a definite GOAT contender.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
    #39
  40. Carlo Colussi

    Carlo Colussi New User

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    Matches missed.
     
    #40
  41. AndrewTas

    AndrewTas Rookie

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    Updated Laver vs Emerson

    Carlo what are the missing results??

    Here is an updated List

    Laver vs Emerson 47-18
    1958 QF QUEENSLAND CHAMPS LAVER 63 61 86
    1959 SF QUEENSLAND CHAMPS EMERSON 79 64 86 1012 63
    1959 SF NSW CHAMPS EMERSON 60 36 36 64 63
    1960 SF AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS LAVER 46 61 97 36 75
    1960 QF WIMBLEDON LAVER 64 57 64 64
    1960 SF QUEENSLAND CHAMPS EMERSON 61 26 62 79 63
    1961 F AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS EMERSON 16 63 75 64
    1961 F NZ CHAMPS LAVER 46 63 62 36 75
    1961 F Mexico City MEX EMERSON 46 64 64 62
    1961 F Kingston JAM LAVER 46 64 63
    1961 SF Caracas VEN LAVER 97 26 63
    1961 SF BARRANQUILLA LAVER 63 62 64
    1961 F Houston TX LAVER 75 75 16 63
    1961 F BRITISH HC EMERSON 86 64 60
    1961 F Kitzbuhel AUT EMERSON 63 63 36 06 62
    1961 F US CHAMPS EMERSON 75 63 62
    1961 F QUEENSLAND HC LAVER 75 63
    1961 F QUEENSLAND CHAMPS LAVER 46 46 60 86 63
    1961 F VICTORIAN CHAMPS LAVER 46 86 97 63
    1961 F NSW CHAMPS LAVER 86 63 36 46 64
    1962 F AUSTRALIAN CHAMPS LAVER 86 06 64 64
    1962 F Montego Bay JAM EMERSON 86 75 46 36 62
    1962 F Caracas VEN LAVER 97 62 60
    1962 F San Juan PR EMERSON 75 75
    1962 F St Petersburg FL EMERSON 61 64 61
    1962 F Houston TX LAVER 61 75 75
    1962 F ITALIAN CHAMPS LAVER 62 16 36 63 61
    1962 F FRENCH CHAMPIONSHIPS LAVER 36 26 63 97 62
    1962 F QUEENS LAVER 64 75
    1962 F US CHAMPS LAVER 62 64 57 64
    1962 F PACIFIC SW EMERSON 1614 63
    1968 SF HOLLYWOOD PRO EMERSON 64 61
    1968 SF MADISON SQR GARDENS CHAMPS LAVER 62 62
    1968 SF LOS ANGELES LAVER 75 62
    1968 1R PARIS PRO NTL LAVER
    1968 SF MIDLAND PRO EMERSON 64 64
    1968 RR SAO PAULO RR LAVER 61 108
    1968 RR LA PAZ RR LAVER 64 62
    1968 RR LIMA RR EMERSON 86 64
    1968 F Buenos Aires ARG EMERSON 97 64 64
    1968 1R WEMBLEY PRO EMERSON 63 97
    1969 3R AUSTRALIAN OPEN LAVER 62 64 36 97
    1969 QF MIAMI LAVER 57 63 64
    1969 RR TOKYO EMERSON 64 65
    1969 F New York NY LAVER 62 46 61
    1969 QF US OPEN LAVER 46 86 1311 64
    1970 3R PHILADELPHIA LAVER 46 63 64
    1970 SF LAS VEGAS LAVER 63 36 62 36 63
    1970 SF ST LOUIS LAVER 46 75 63
    1970 F BRETTON WOODS LAVER 63 63
    1970 F Fort Worth TX LAVER 63 75
    1970 F Vancouver CDA LAVER 62 61 62
    1969 ONS BASLE LAVER 63 68 64 36 62
    1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, Philadelphia LAVER 62 63 75
    1971 RR Champions Tennis Classic, New Haven LAVER 63 57 63 36 63
    1971 SF MIAMI LAVER 26 63 75
    1971 QF QUEBEC LAVER 36 76 76
    1971 SF FORT WORTH LAVER 61 64
    1971 3R SAN FRANSISCO LAVER 67 64 60
    1973 QF Miami FL WCT LAVER 64 36 62
    1973 F Richmond VA WCT LAVER 64 63
    1973 F Toronto CDA WCT LAVER 63 64
    1973 SF Brussels WCT LAVER 46 64 61
    1973 1R WCT FINALS DALLAS LAVER 64 62 61
    1975 2R SAO PAULO LAVER 63 62
     
    #41
  42. jeffreyneave

    jeffreyneave Rookie

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    score for Laver/Emerson NTL Paris pro 1968

    Laver beat Emerson 4-6,6-4,6-2




    jeffrey
     
    #42
  43. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    In my opinion, the comparison of players across different eras is made a lot easier if we focus on three "major" events per year, rather than four. Almost continuously since 1912, there have been important international championships held in these three countries: Great Britain, the United States, and France (usually contested on clay). Prior to 1925, the three major tournaments were Wimbledon, the US Championships, and the World Hard Court Championships*. From 1925 to 1938, the French Amateur Championships replaced the WHCC. When Don Budge turned professional in 1939, the balance of power shifted away from these amateur events, as the bulk of the best players were on the early pros tours. The pro tournaments with the greatest tradition during this period became known as the "pro majors": Wembley, the US Pro Championships, and the French Pro Championships. Finally, since 1968, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open have stood as arguably the three most important titles in tennis. The following ten players, then, have won at least eight of these major titles:

    Ken Rosewall - 17
    Pancho Gonzales - 12
    Rod Laver - 12
    Pete Sampras - 12
    Bjorn Borg - 11
    Bill Tilden - 11
    Don Budge - 9
    Roger Federer - 9
    Henri Cochet - 8
    Fred Perry - 8

    Additionally, these nine players have won all three events at least once:

    Ken Rosewall (x3)
    Don Budge (x2)
    Rene Lacoste (x2)
    Rod Laver (x2)
    Andre Agassi (x1)
    Henri Cochet (x1)
    Bill Johnston (x1)
    Fred Perry (x1)
    Bill Tilden (x1)

    So Rosewall has won 17 of the biggest titles in the world--five more than any other player in history--and he is also the only player ever to have won the major British, American, and French championships at least three times a piece. That's a pretty impressive case. Still, Laver edges out Rosewall is in the concentration and pattern of his major wins: Laver won all three big titles in two separate years (1967 and 1969), whereas Rosewall only did it once (1963). So how you rate these two depends entirely on whether you put greater value on (a) longevity or (b) short-term dominance. I think it is an exceedingly close call. In any event, by this particular methodology, Rosewall and Laver are probably the most accomplished players of all time.

    For reference, what I consider the five best years of all time:

    Bill Tilden [1921]: Wimbledon, US Champs, WHCC
    Don Budge [1938]: Wimbledon, US Champs, French Champs
    Ken Rosewall [1963]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
    Rod Laver [1967]: Wembley, US Pro, French Pro
    Rod Laver [1969]: Wimbledon, US Open, French Open

    *This event was held in Brussels in 1922, and replaced by the Paris Olympics in 1924.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
    #43
  44. CyBorg

    CyBorg Legend

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    I think the fact that the younger Laver overtook Rosewall as the best in the world and began to dominate him from the mid-60s onward is what is giving him the edge on Rosewall... unfairly. Rosewall, of course, had every right to digress a bit after 10 years of top-notch tennis.

    But regardless - that's what people remember. Laver overcoming Rosewall and even beating him on clay at Roland Garros.

    But then again's that's 'history'.
     
    #44
  45. FedForGOAT

    FedForGOAT Professional

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    I agree. At first, Rosewall was dominated by Gonzalez. At the end, he was dominated by Laver. People seem to forget that he was the world's best player some time in the middle. Yes, he is definitely underrated by the public, but I couldn't put him over Laver. If you had them both playing their best at the same time, I'd see Laver winning. He had an all court power game and could trouble Rosewall with his topspin backhand flicks.
     
    #45
  46. chaognosis

    chaognosis Semi-Pro

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    This would depend very much on the surface. On grass I could see Laver winning maybe two out of every three matches--both were excellent grass-court players, and Rosewall's backhand was tailor made for grass, but Laver had the much superior serve and that probably would make the difference in a series of matches. On clay Rosewall would probably win about three matches out of four. However, a confrontation between these two on any surface would almost certainly be an extremely close, hard-fought contest (as it usually was).
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2008
    #46
  47. FedForGOAT

    FedForGOAT Professional

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    I agree all confrontations would be close. I was picturing a surface like the USO, but I'm sure they'd do great on all surfaces.
     
    #47
  48. SgtJohn

    SgtJohn Rookie

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    Hi Gene,

    Sure, this longevity is amazing. To use another analogy, Rosewall reaching the Wimbledon final in '74 by beating Newcombe and Smith is a bit like Boris Becker coming back to beat Nadal and Federer in back-to-back matches...

    But still, we have to be careful with the comparisons. I'm not (at all!) amon people who judge the current time 'better' or 'harder' than the past, but it's an objective fact that players who turn pro in 2008 can expect less years at the top of their game than their 1958 counterparts. There are many reasons to this, and mostly technology ('high-tech' rackets mean a quicker ball, which means a quicker game, which means more injuries,etc.), and maybe 'mental fatigue'...
    But let's make no mistake, Rosewall's longevity was already amazing in his time. Laver's career was more traditional in this regard (peaking around 30 and clearly declining after 33 or 34). In 'modern' terms, Agassi reaching the US Open final at 35 in 2005 can be compared to Rosewall's '74 exploits, so in a way, "35 is the new 39".

    A full statistical study would be fascinating, with solid data to try and answer this question: "Rosewall won 23 'majors', but he enjoyed a longer career than Sampras, by virtue of the fact that he was born in the 30s and not the 70s...So how much are his 23 'worth' in 2008 criteria, and how do they stack up against Pete's 14?".

    Jon
     
    #48
  49. Q&M son

    Q&M son Professional

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    I don't think you are Carlo Colussi, I know him. You maybe... fake!
     
    #49
  50. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    I do wonder about these factors? From what I hear, the old pro circuit with its one-night stands in out-of-the-way towns was quite the grueling grind for very little money. Do pros today have it physically easier?

    Good point. I agree, this is a significant question.

    (Are 2008 criteria really that different from 1955 or 1972 criteria? I'm not sure what you mean by this.)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
    #50

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